Showing posts from May, 2019

KOWA - an optics company with a heart!!! Read how they helped someone in need!

I  wanted to send a big public thank you to Kowa Sporting Optics. I wrote them to help out a terrific BC birder who is currently homeless and who had his bins stolen, while sleeping on the streets. Kowa stepped up and responded to me right away and shipped out a brand new pair of their Kowa BD XD 8X42 bins worth 599$ cad! that we will deliver to him. When I heard the news it brought tears to my eyes. If this is not a company that birders should support, I don’t know what is. I have their angled TSN-883  scope   and it’s fantastic and rated just as high as their Swarovski equivalent. If big companies in this modern and sometimes depressive world care about the little guy, and do something so kind as this, I will definitely support them. This is why I want to spread the word. They made no money on this and sent out a very expensive pair of bins with no questions asked!. When you are already feeling down on your luck, being able to find one anchor of joy and reprieve from the nega

The upcoming proposed Deltaport Expansion and the horrible consequences on Western Sandpipers and Barn Owls

On May 27, 2019, there was a community hearing on the effects that the proposed Delta Port Expansion in  the Fraser River Estuary would have on Shorebirds and Biofilm.  Bird Studies Canada (BSC) was in attendance and so was Environment and Climate Change Canada. Both of them put forward a presentation each on how detrimental it will be for western sandpipers and even Barn Owls. Barn Owls will be affected by road mortality due to the increasing amount of traffic travelling to and from the port at all hours of the day especially night when they are out hunting. Environment and Climate Change Canada stressed that biofilm cannot be recreated (as the Port Authority states) and that this will significantly decrease the Western Sandpiper population here at their final staging ground before heading to Alaska. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) points out several reasons why they feel the expansion should not go ahead. To read these presentations in Pdf format click HERE   and   HE

Thousands of Tufted Puffins Die in Alaska

Tufted Puffins are dying off in alarming numbers in Alaska. Up to 8500 were found dead in the Bering Sea, partly because of starvation and stress brought on by changing climate conditions. Read the full news story HERE With a president like Donald Trump who denies climate change even exists... how will the US gov't fight the most important war yet?! On Saturday the Washington Post reported that near the entrance to the arctic ocean in NW Russia the temperature soared to 29C. The concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere went over 415 parts per million for the first time in human history. Carbon Dioxide levels have risen by 50% since the Industrial Revolution. Sea Ice is continuing to melt at record paces. This is all due to human induced climate change. When will we all wake up? Hopefully Canada wakes up as well as we really are doing no better and similar events are happening right here in our own backyard. 

I love Sanderlings...especially in breeding plumage + my House Wrens are back!

A few days ago I got to go down to Point Roberts where my family has property and shot some Sanderlings. They were 20 of them that were mostly in varying degrees of breeding plumage. I got to photograph one that was in almost complete breeding plumage. It was a rare treat and soon they will be gone for the summer. There was 7 late Brant there as well but they wouldn't let me get close this time. I saw a funny comic about a Sanderling's "dating profile" and every time I see them running up and down the beach, I think it couldn't be more accurate. You can see the comic HERE . Sanderling in full breeding plumage - Photo: Melissa Hafting Sanderling in Point Roberts, WA - Photos: Melissa Hafting Since early May a pair of House Wrens have taken up residence in our place at Point Roberts. They are nesting in a cedar bush and t hey love to sing constantly.  In my neighbour's yard he has them nesting in a bird box. These 4 pairs of birds trigger the eB

What will happen to the Iona Sewage Lagoons that we birders love so much?

In Dec, 2018 I posted on the blog about the fact that the Iona sewage lagoons that we birders love so much will be decommissioned in the up coming years. They will be building a new sewage treatment plant and the birds will be the ones who lose out.. us too. All of the ponds will be decommissioned one by one starting in the summer of 2019 and ending by the summer of 2023. The lagoons will be dredged and dried out and not refilled. It is really sad we will lose them.There is a slim potential that a treatment wetland such as Blakeburn Lagoon could go into the lagoons but the amount of waders will never be the same even if done but it certainly is better than nothing. However, YVR voiced their opinion and are super reluctant to make them into wetland ponds because they believe it would attract Canada Geese which could get in the way of airplanes. This will especially be a concern if the new runway goes in, right through the south jetty. There is talk of foreshore restoration and conn

Upcoming Young Birder Trips for Summer 2019!

Hi Young Birders here are a list of trips I currently have scheduled for the summer season! More may be added as well. Click HERE at the bcfo website for photos of what we can see and a list of our trips! Come photograph Common Loons and chicks in Kamloops - June 22 Overnight Flammulated Owl, Common Poorwill (and more) Trip in BC’s Interior - July 8-9 Pemberton Trip to search for Alder Fly (+ a Special Surprise for those who attend!) - July 20th Pelagic Trip out of Tofino - July 29-30th Manning Park Trip - August 24th Email me at bcbirdergirl(at)gmail(dot)com  as soon as possible to register and to find out further details and costs. **BCFO pays 20% of the cost of Gas and Car Rental and Parents pay 80%.** I hope to see many of you on our trips this year!

Congratulations to BC Young Birders!

Big congratulations to young birder Sasha Fairbairn and Rebecca Reader-Lee for getting into Long Point’s very competitive Doug Tarry Young Ornithologist’s Workshop !. I’m so excited for you guys for this special honour and experience!. Also a big congratulations to Sasha Fairbairn for winning the BCFO Young Birder Award this year! I also want to wish young birders Josh Brown, Bridget Spencer and Cole Gaerber a huge congratulations on getting into top universities in Quebec, California and Ontario!. I will miss them so much this fall but am so incredibly proud of them!. They are taking their passion for conservation, birds, wildlife, science and the environment and are going to make a career out of it. I hope all your dreams come true!. The future looks so bright for you all. You guys are gonna make this world a better place!. My greatest joy these last few years have been birding with you all and having you in the young birder program.

A Sandhill Crane raises a Goose!

I wanted to share this incredible cute and true story of a Sandhill Crane that is raising a colt plus a gosling in Michigan!. Usually, Sandhill Cranes practice siblicide but not in this case, making it all the more special that the gosling survived! You may remember I posted about the Eastern Screech-Owl raising a Wood Duck on this blog . There has also been a case of an American Kestrel raising a Bufflehead . The pictures of the Canada Goose gosling and Sandhill Crane colt are to die for! Click HERE to enjoy and follow along as this story progresses!. I sure would love to see this cute family!

Twitching BC's 2nd-ever Great Black-backed Gull in Kelowna!

Great Black-backed Gull in Kelowna - Photo: Melissa Hafting On May 13th-2019, Ryan Tomlinson found a Great Black-backed Gull (GBBG) in Kelowna. The bird was at the mouth of Mission Creek. This was only the second record for British Columbia and most people did not have it for BC. The first time one showed up it was in Kamloops in 1988!. I called up a few friends in town and Brian Stech, Carlo Giovanella, Mike Tabak and I left Vancouver at 5 am. We made Kelowna in 4 hours. I drove and there was no traffic. It took another 30 mins to get to the site. When we got there my friends Mike Force and Chris Charlesworth texted me that it had been seen 20 mins before we got there. We walked out via a path that is kind of treacherous if you have any mobility issues because it goes over a high water creek and up over a small but high wooden dock with no railing. The rocks were also slippery but it was only a short 50 m walk to get onto the sandbar to view the gulls. We got there and s